Welcome to Kashiwa City, a part of Chiba prefecture and home to 420,000 people. A 29 minute train ride away from Ueno, Tokyo - lies Kashiwa station or “Little Shibuya” as some call it.
While Kashiwa station is the face of the city with grand department stores and fashion shops, “Urakashi” (literally translates to “backside Kashiwa”) area is like the other side of the coin - just a short walk from the station you’ll discover unique stores, amazing restaurants and a vast amount of other interesting locations that exude individuality, attention to detail and personality that you won’t find anywhere else.
The area emerged in the early 2000’s as the area suddenly experienced a high influx of young business entrepreneurs that wanted to build the next latest and greatest shop concept after another, which is still the case today.
The Kashiwa Information Center thought the area got so distinct that it needed its own brand, hence Urakashi - the back side of Kashiwa.
It’s common for restaurants in Japanto impose a modest fee on your bill. The fee, or otōshi as it’s called - usually range from 300 to 700 yen and include a small side dish to wet your appetite in between placing the order and the food arriving at the table.
You are not expected to tip in Japan. Offering to pay more than what the price says will likely leave your table waiter, taxi driver or hotel clerk very confused, or even slightly insulted! Why pay more than what the price says?
Don’t be so surprised if you have to pay ¥1080 when the price tag said ¥1000. It’s common for businesses in Japan not to include the 8% sales tax in the price, but instead write the price and “+tax”. This is because there is an ongoing discussion to raise it to 10%, and when it happens it’d be a pain to redo all those menus and price tags.
Our society consists of business and location owners in Kashiwa, but also people who are just big fans and lovers of the area itself.
These are our main missions:
1. To create an even more pleasant and exciting town where people can gather and develop their trade.
2. To give birth to great ideas by gathering fun and interesting people. Keeping thoughts to yourself like “It would be fun if Kashiwa had…” or “I want to see the city become like…” - is a waste and a damn shame. When we all come together, we can turn the best of those ideas into reality.
3. To love and cherish our society in our own independent ways, sticking to our beliefs while at the same time have the outmost respect for other people’s opinions as well.
Simply put, the Urakashi 100-Year Society is a unification of merchants and craftspeople with an unconditional love for the area.
The Urakashi area is bursting with unique and original shops. Even though we’re not all in the same category of business, by building a brand and using the 100-Year Society as a means of communication, we’ll be able to spread the word about the continuous discovery of this charming area that is glowing with so much untapped potential.
Kashiwa was the place of my youth. At a point in time, I left Kashiwa to live in Tokyo - but since I’ve made my return it is even more clear that my heart never left this home town of mine. Together with the members of the Urakashi 100-Year Society, I now have an opportunity to assist in the quest for making impacts that last for many, many years to come.
Kashiwa is a place where city and farmland both coexist, but there are still a vast amount of untapped potential. As for me, I think I can bring a lot to the table from a restaurant owner and farmer’s point of view. With the power of the Urakashi 100-Year Association, I aim to help making an even richer city. Thank you for your support!
I’m highly anticipating all the new ideas and subcultures that will emerge and develop through the Urakashi 100-Year Association. Personally, I want to contribute to the creation of a charming and attractive city, all while exchanging information and ideas from angles never explored before. I’m really grateful to everyone participating in this society!